Monday 23 October 2017

O'Neill questions Super Cup future

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

MICHAEL O'NEILL feels that the League of Ireland would be better served by the participation of its champions in the Dublin Super Cup -- but if the timing of the competition makes that impossible, then he is unsure if there should be any representation at all.

The Shamrock Rovers boss has sympathy for Damien Richardson, who presided over a pair of defeats in the inaugural competition, with a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester City followed by a 5-0 loss to an under-strength Celtic side.

O'Neill (right) pointed out that Richardson had minimal time to work with his players, and also didn't know what squad he would have until a couple of days beforehand.

Organisers Endemol will this week review the Aviva Stadium tournament, and plot the path ahead.

They are conscious that a settled League of Ireland side who train and play together week-in, week-out would perform better than a representative selection, but the better teams are likely to be involved in European competition at this time.

They don't have much flexibility in terms of moving the four-team event to a different weekend, because the bigger English clubs will be on tour in America or Asia until a fortnight before their season starts.

"If you're going to have representation from the league, I'd have thought it would be better to have one club side, but it's not really feasible because of the timing and the nature of the competition," said O'Neill.

"I'm not sure what the best solution is. Maybe it's not to have an Airtricity team in the competiton.

"If you picked a representative side for the Premier League and said there's no players from Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea in it, then people would say that that's not a fair representation of the league.

"And that's essentially what Damien was challenged with, with ourselves, Sligo and St Patrick's Athletic in Europe. Hopefully most people will look at how the teams are doing in Europe and say that's a fairer reflection of the strength of the league."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport